Can you guess which molecule this is?



Visit the ACS website to find out more about this molecule!

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You Be The Chemist @ Penn State Berks!

Welcome Contestants!

Tomorrow we will be welcoming almost 100 Berks County, PA students for the 2nd Annual You Be The Chemist Challenge at Penn State Berks.  The Penn State Berks Chemical Society is happy to partner with Brenntag North America to provide this opportunity to local schools, teachers and students.


2013 YBTC Berks County Contestants

How We Support Local Teachers

The Penn State Berks Chemical Society Advisor offers the Essential Elements workshop to local teachers from various Berks County School Districts.

Essential Elements is a professional development program created by CEF as part of its You Be The Chemist (YBTC) initiatives. Essential Elements is designed to assist K–8 educators— our “essential elements” in education—in teaching chemistry concepts through hands-on learning and connecting those concepts to students’ everyday lives.


Teachers taking the Essential Elements Workshop – Courtesy CEF

Essential Elements is based on the 5E constructivist learning cycle approach to teaching. This cycle allows students to build their own understanding of new concepts from both old ideas and their own experiences. Each of part of the cycle describes a phase of learning. Those phases are engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate.

During an Essential Elements workshop, the instructor will lead educators through a full 5E learning cycle utilizing a lesson from the YBTC Activity Guides. Following the lesson, educators will have an opportunity to discuss the lesson further and ask questions. The workshop will then proceed with additional lessons from the Activity Guides. These lessons will be presented in a short form, allowing educators to perform the experiments and discuss how they can use the full 5E learning cycle for those lessons. Individual lessons will be selected by the instructor. The number of additional short-form lessons will depend on the time allotted for the workshop.

How You Be The Chemist Benefits Local Students

The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge® is an interactive academic competition that engages grade 5‒8 students in learning with their peers (and their community!) about important chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries, and laboratory safety.

The Challenge:

  • Introduces students to the central role of chemistry in all of the sciences and in their everyday lives.
  • Uses the drama of competition to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
  • Provides educators with an exciting way to educate their students and assess their learning.
  • Encourages parents to participate in their child’s education.
  • Allows industry members to connect with their community and actively show their support for science education.

The Challenge brings students, educators and administrators, parents, industry, and other community members together in an exciting celebration of chemistry!


Students from the 2013 National Challenge in Phila., PA – Courtesy CEF

The 2013 National Challenge was held on June 24 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Click the link to visit the National Challenge page to find out who is the 2013 Challenge Champion!)

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International Periodic Table


Interested in the country in which Mendelevium was discovered? Or how many elements were discovered by chemists from France? The ACS International Center has compiled all of this information on its new International Periodic Table, at

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Ahhh Chemistry!

What we’ve been trying to tell everyone is “Chemistry is FUN!”

But not everyone can make it to the various workshops and programs we host here in Berks County, PA to experience it for themselves.  So, our solution . . . start a blog!  Share some stories, show some demos, bring it all together here.


What we are is a Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society.  Our goal is to share as much of our love for chemistry with students, teachers, parents, families, neighborhoods, our community!  There are themes every fall for National Chemistry Week, and every spring for Chemists Celebrate Earth Day – through this blog, we can celebrate and learn together.

“Chemistry is FUN!”  Let us show you just how much fun it is.

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